The brakes on a semi-truck are more critical than those on a smaller vehicle, and they work differently.
Commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds.
When they must stop, a truck's air brakes are crucial. Unfortunately, brake failures can occur.
When a brake failure occurs, serious accidents result.
Those who have become the victim of a truck accident need to be aware of how the truck's air brakes could be to blame.
Semi-Truck Brakes Are Much Different Than Traditional Brake Systems
When the police begin to investigate truck accidents, they often check the braking system of a truck first.
As most people know, the brakes of a typical passenger vehicle operate on fluid. Brake fluid is essential for ensuring the brakes work to stop the vehicle.
On a semi-truck, the brake system works using air. While some semi-trucks operate on drum brakes, the safest brakes for these massive trucks are air brake systems.
Air brakes allow trucks to stop much faster and they last at least twice as long as traditional drum brakes.
Air Brake Systems Can Fail
Unfortunately, like all brake systems, the air brakes on a semi-truck can fail.
Semi-truck drivers are required to inspect their trucks daily.
Truck drivers must also fill out a report to ensure they perform necessary maintenance tasks.
The driver of a semi-truck must inspect the following components to ensure they are in safe working order.
- Windshield wipers
Daily inspections are critical for ensuring semi-truck brake systems are working properly.
With these daily inspections, truck drivers can find brake problems before they cause a tragic accident to occur.
Common Causes for Air Brake Failures
Multiple reasons can cause air brake failure.
When an accident is caused by air brake system failure, the reason must be identified to determine who is at fault.
Sometimes, injured victims may pursue multiple defendants, including the truck driver, their employer, the truck manufacturers, parts manufacturers, or even the truck's mechanics.
The following are common causes of air brake failure.
- Improper brake adjustment
- Worn or broken brake components
- Truck driver error
- Condensation in the brake lines
- Overloading cargo
- Oil or water in the air tank
- Failure of the air compressor
Knowing the cause of air brake failure is essential for injured victims.
Once a victim is aware of the cause of their accident, they can take appropriate legal action.
Determining Negligence Is Essential
An injured victim needs to be able to establish negligence on the part of the truck driver, their employer, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts, or the truck's mechanics.
While brake failures are sometimes caused by faulty brake equipment, driver negligence is the most common cause.
If driver negligence caused a truck accident, the injured victim needs to take immediate action and learn about their rights.
Often, this means getting legal help.
Hiring a lawyer helps injured victims use the law to their advantage.
This means holding the truck driver and their employer accountable for the injuries and damages they have caused with the brake failure.
Victims must realize the statute of limitations in their state limits the time they have to file a lawsuit.
It is wise for injured victims to schedule a consultation appointment with a lawyer to determine the viability of their case.
A lawyer will help an injured client gather needful evidence to hold the truck driver accountable for the accident they caused.